ASP Constitution / Membership rules

Party Constitution of the

Australian Sovereignty Party.

 

ARTICLE I

NAME, PURPOSE AND MEMBERSHIP

A. Name.

The name of this organisation shall be “Australian Sovereignty Party”, also referred to as “the Party”.

For electoral purposes only, the Party may be referred to by another name, or abbreviated, containing the essence of the original name – i.e., “Sovereignty Party Australia” (SPA), “Sovereignty Party” (SP), etc.

B. General Purposes.

The party shall work to meet the expectations of reasonable men and women, in discharging their obligations and exercising their rights and liberties to make their decisions in full possession of all the relevant facts.

C. Aims & Objectives

a)      To advocate and lobby for the concept and introduction of an “honest money system”;

b)      To advocate and lobby for the introduction of a “fair tax”;

c)      To protect our natural rights, and ensure that natural justice is practiced and upheld, with the introduction of an Australian Bill of Rights to be built into our federal constitution;

d)      To move Australia’s legal system towards a system focused on justice, rather than the letter of the law;

e)      To advocate and lobby for a small and efficient government, the eradication of much red-tape, and to allow for private enterprise and the market to work with minimal government intervention;

f)       To implement processes and procedures that will prevent and filter out corruption in government, and to allow for greater transparency in all bureaucracies;

g)      To focus on policies and initiatives that will protect and improve the environment;

h)      To advocate and lobby for a public health system that is inclusive of natural and alternative therapies, encouraging a preventative approach to public health that includes promotion of healthy diet and nutrition, and avoidance of toxic and immune harming substances, and to introduce a system of honest and transparent disclosure pertaining to the use of all pharmaceutical products.

i)        To ensure that our over-all approach and philosophies are consistent with a democratic, sovereign nation, that will not allow for offshore interests, including but not restricted to the UN, WTO, and WHO, to hold undue influence over Australia’s affairs. We will aim to protect, and maintain, our nation’s sovereignty, and revise any international treaties/ agreements that infringe on our nation’s sovereignty, affairs, and our way of life.

D. Political responsibilities

The Party shall nominate and support the election of Party candidates to Parliament, promote and uphold the principles set forth in the Party Principles, and perform Party functions set forth in the election laws of Australia and the Constitution and Bylaws of the Party.

E. Membership.

  1. Full Membership.

General Party membership is open to any person who is eligible to vote in an Australian Federal election and who endorses the general purposes and aims and objectives (above) of the Party.

  1. Affiliate Membership.

a)      Australian citizens who are not registered with the AEC or who are not eligible to vote, permanent and temporary residents, and foreigners are permitted to join the ASP as an affiliate member;

b)      Affiliate Members will not have Party voting rights;

c)      Affiliate Members will not be considered members for purposes, requirements and obligations under the Australian Electoral Commission unless their status changes and apply for full membership;

 

ARTICLE II

BYLAWS

A. Bylaws

  1. A State or Regional Party Division may adopt Bylaws to govern subjects not covered by this Constitution. Such enactments shall not be inconsistent with this Constitution.
  2. Adoption and Modifications.

a)       By the State or Regional Party Division.

Any Bylaw adopted or modified by the State or Regional Party Branch shall be binding to just that State or Regional Branch and in full force and effect when adopted by a 60% vote of the State or Regional members that vote.

b)      By the State or Regional Convention.

Alternatively, should a State or Regional Party convention be held, then the delegates to that Convention may adopt or modify a by a 60% vote of those present.

 

ARTICLE III

OFFICERS

A. Party Officers.

The Party shall have both a Federal Party and State or Regional Party divisions. (A “Region” being defined as a Territory of the Commonwealth or substantial portion of a state with a common community of interest)

Initially, The Federal Party shall make all decisions for each State or Region until such time as a State or Region obtains 100 members. When a State or Regional Party Division reaches 100 members, it can begin to operate separately & in cooperation with the Federal Executive Council.

No one can be a State or Regional member and not a Federal member as well.

A member’s State or Regional membership is decided by where their State or Region Electoral home address is.

Officers of both the Federal and any State or Regional Party Division shall be the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer. These four persons shall be known as the Executive Officers and their term of office will be two years. 

The Federal Executive Council may create additional positions (e.g. State or Regional representatives, additional Committee members) on the Federal Executive Council as it may see fit to assist in the work of the Executive and such positions shall be filled by either:

  1. a majority vote at a general meeting of the Federal Party or,
  2. a majority vote of a general meeting of the respective State or Regional Division.

All meetings (Federal and State or Regional) shall, for the most part, be conducted by email with all members entitled to vote and voting done by email within a three day return date. At least two officers will check all email votes before announcing any decisions to members. Party members may be on the Executive of both the Federal Party and a State or Regional party Division.

B. Duties of Executive Officers.

  1. Responsibility for the operation of the Federal Party, or of a State or Regional division, shall rest with the respective Executive Council.
  2. President. The President shall serve as Chair of the party and chair of all meetings. The President also has the right to a casting vote as well as an ordinary vote in both Executive and Party decisions.
  3. The Executive Council may appoint Party personnel (staffers with no Executive decision making power other than that defined in a job description by the Executive) and the General Counsel.
  4. Vice-President. The Vice-President shall assist the President in his or her duties and perform the President’s duties in the President’s absence.
  5. Secretary. The Party Secretary shall provide required notice, minutes and attendance records for all meetings.  The Secretary holds the office, the duties of which involve responsibility for the carrying out of the administration, and for the conduct of the correspondence, of the Party. 
  6. Treasurer. The Treasurer shall keep and maintain financial records.

 

C. Election of Officers.

  1. Members of the Federal Party or a State or Regional Division shall elect an Executive Council every two years.
  2. The first Federal Party Executive Council election can occur when the first 20 members have joined.
  3. All Members must nominate an email address to receive their Party meeting correspondence.
  4. They will be deemed as present in any “email meeting” each time they are sent an email by the Executive Council.
  5. When electing persons to an Executive Council, there will be an understanding that the position of Treasurer is flexible and can be rotated between the Executive members from time to time depending on their time commitments.

 

D. Replacement of Officers.

  1. Vacancies. Officer vacancies shall be filled within ninety (90) days of the vacancy by the remaining members of the committee and remain until the next election is due.
  2. Removal. Any officer may be removed by a majority vote of all the voting members of the respective State or Regional Division or Federal Party by a no confidence motion.

Should an Executive member no longer be a Party member, then they have automatically resigned from the Executive the day their Party membership has ceased.

  1. At the end of a 2 year term, all offices shall be declared vacant, but as an email vote may take some days, the previous officers are acting officers until such time as the new officers are proclaimed.

New office candidates require a nominator and a seconder.

Previous officers require a nominator only.

 

ARTICLE IV

DECIDING PARTY POLICY

Powers.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) shall be the governing and “broad” policy-making body of the Party. The Federal Executive Council may use email discussions, web sites, blogs & member votes as indicators to determine the party’s broad policies on any issues it believes should be decided.

Only in exceptional circumstances and after liaising between all elected representatives and the Federal Executive Council, culminating in a majority vote, will a conscience vote be permitted.

It will be up to any Executive Council if and when that Executive Council should make a decision on policy and when that Executive Council should ask the Party members to vote.

Decisions on policy and direction/image must be guided by the following principles;

  • Federal Policies will be decided by the Federal Executive Council.
  • Motions are to be presented by the federal quorum only (where a member of the Federal Executive may request a member of the federal quorum to present a motion).
  • Any member of the federal quorum (President, Vice-President, Secretary, and/or Treasurer) may veto a motion on the condition that they are able to provide reasonable grounds for their decision.  If the veto is deemed reasonable by a majority vote of the Federal Executive, the motion is not to be carried.  If said veto is deemed unreasonable or unsubstantiated by the Federal Executive by majority vote, the motion is to carry.
  • State or Region policies will be decided by the relevant State or Region Executive Council and approved by the Federal Executive.
  • To the extent of any inconsistency between Federal and State or Regional policy, the Federal policy shall prevail.

 

ARTICLE V

PARTY MEMBERSHIP

A. Membership.

A person shall become a Full member of the party once they agree via electronic or written form:

  • Endorse the Party’s General Purposes and Aims and Objectives, and agree to abide by the principles and terms outlined in this Constitution, and to support the policies outlined by the Federal Executive on the Party web site;
  • Declare they are not members of another political party and that this declaration is made each year as a condition for ongoing membership;
  • Pay the membership fee (whatever the FEC deems that it should be); and,
  • The Federal Executive Council accepts their application.

B.

Upon receiving a membership application and membership fee, the Federal Executive Council, or the relevant State or Regional Executive Council, if so delegated by the Federal Executive Council, has 30 days to decide if they will reject a membership application. If the person has not been notified of a rejection before the 28 days expires, they will automatically be deemed a member by the respective Executive Council and be entitled to vote in their State, Regional and Federal Party meetings.

C.

      i.            The Federal Executive Council may amend the terms and conditions of Party membership;

      ii.            Membership of the party is granted for life, until such time that the member notifies the Party that it wishes to de-register as a member;

     iii.            A member of the party must pay to the Federal party an annual or bi-annual membership fee as determined from time to time by the Federal Executive Council;

     iv.            The Secretary shall keep all membership records and be responsible for reminder notes;

       v.           Only Executive Council members and the relevant staff have the right to look at and use membership lists;

     vi.            The Federal Executive Council may apportion the funds from membership fees to the various tiers of the party as they see fit;

 

C. Member conduct.

Members will conduct themselves in a manner that brings credit to the Party.  All members must judge fellow human beings based upon their character, their views and opinions, not based on their race or ethnicity. Racism will not be tolerated. Members are encouraged to promote the Party and its policies in a positive light whenever occasion presents itself.  Members will abide by the ASP network website usage rules and conduct.

E. Expulsion.

A member may, at the discretion of the Executive Council, be expelled from the Party in the event that one or more of the following has been brought to their attention. The member has either:

      i.            Committed a criminal offence;

      ii.            Displayed conduct that puts the Party in disrepute as per section C. (Member conduct);

     iii.            Displayed public adherence to principles in opposition to the Party’s principles;

     iv.            Be seen to be undermining the Party’s objectives and policies to the advantage of another political party.

Once the Executive Council decides a person is expelled and has informed them in writing or by email (stating one or more of the above reasons), the former member has no entitlement to membership refunds or records of members or any other party privileges they may have previously had.

 

F. Appeal.

An expelled member can only appeal to the Federal Executive Council in writing within 7 days of the Expulsion date.

Should an appeal letter be received within 7 days by the Executive Council, the Council has 30 days to appoint three persons from within the party to hear the appellant’s case and reconsider the matter. After the Appeal hearing, the Council has another 30 days to notify the Appellant of their decision on the matter. After this the matter is closed.

 

ARTICLE VI

MEETING PROCESSES

The Chair (the role of which is to be assumed by the President, or any member of the quorum as defined below that the President appoints in the event that the President is unable to attend or conduct the meeting) shall decide when meetings (via email or otherwise) shall begin and end.

All motions will need a seconder before a vote is conducted.

Motions of no confidence (as specified in Article IV; Deciding Party Policy; Powers) will not be carried.

A. Quorum.

In order to conduct binding business, the State, Regional or Federal meeting must have a quorum in attendance (defined as the President, Vice-President, Secretary, and Treasurer) from their respective committees.

 

B. State or Regional Division capacity.

Should a State or Regional Division membership fall below 100 members, it will revert back to being run by the Federal Party/ Executive.

 

C. Notice of Meetings.

All meetings shall be conducted by email, except Executive Council meetings which can be conducted via a conference call (i.e., Skype) or in physical attendance, and a State/Region or Federal Conference if ever deemed necessary by the Executive Council. In such cases 2 weeks’ notice is required as a minimum.

 

D.

No business may be considered at a State, Regional or Federal Party Convention unless properly noticed by inclusion in the agenda (publicised at least 4 weeks prior), except if a majority of the members in attendance vote to add an item to the agenda.

 

E.

The Chair of any meeting of a party unit may cast a deciding vote to resolve any voting deadlock.

 

ARTICLE VII

STATE & FEDERAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEES

A. Powers.

The State, Regional and Federal Executive Councils shall comprise of the office holders and any extra positions deemed necessary by the membership.

 

B. Executive Council Membership size.

State, Regional and Federal Executive Council size can be increased at any meeting provided a majority of voting members vote for the increase.

 

C. Quorum.

In order to conduct binding business, the State, Regional, and Federal Executive Council must have a quorum in attendance, defined as a majority of voting members of the Executive Council.

 

D.

The Executive Council shall decide how often it needs to meet by whichever means. The Secretary shall keep a record of all decisions by the Executive Council. These decisions must be publicised to its members within 4 weeks.

 

E.

An Executive Council may appoint as many staff, and an auditor, as the Executive Council believes is necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the party.

The Party may employ staff on short (but easily renewable) contracts.

 

Property

  1. Federal, State or Regional Party Divisions may rent or own private property in the Party name.
  2. Should the Federal Party become an incorporated association or other legal entity, it will do so with all its Divisions and Branches enjoying the same legal status as a whole unified body.
  3. Should a State or Regional Party division dissolve (due to its membership dropping below 50 members), then all property, income, and liabilities and decisions revert automatically to the responsibility of the Federal Party.

 

Winding up Assets

Should the party assets be wound up and all debts paid, then the Executive Council shall determine a “like-minded” group or party to which all the assets are given. No person or business shall be eligible to receive any assets at the winding up of the party.

 

ARTICLE VIII

PARTY COMMITTEES

  1. Party Committees.

An Executive Council may call for nominations for any committees deemed necessary by the Party membership or by that Executive Council.

  1. All Party Committees have recommending powers only.
  2. A majority support for the recommendations by the appropriate body is required to bring any Committee recommendations into force.

 

ARTICLE IX

PARTY BRANCHES and CANDIDATE SELECTION

  1. The Federal Executive Council [FEC] shall have final say and determination in the selection of all candidates in all elections at a Federal, State/Territory and Local level.
  2. The FEC shall liaise with all State, Regional and Local Sovereignty Party Councils in relation to selection of candidates for all elections.
  3. In all areas of dispute between State/Territory, Regional and Local and the FEC, the FEC shall be the final arbiter and decision maker.
  4. The Federal Party Executive Council shall determine how it shall select Candidates in each upper and lower house seats in the states where no State or Regional Party Executive Council has formed.

 

Starting State Branches

  1. Once a State or Region has 100 members or more, the Federal Executive Council may move towards that State or Region having its own Party structure.
  2. Initially, all State or Region members shall decide the State or Regional Party Executive Council. From that moment, the State or Regional Executive Council shall guide all matters of candidate selection, staff appointments and fund raising etc., according to the constitution.
  3. Each State or Regional Party Executive Council shall decide on which seats it will contest and be responsible for. This includes all fees, registration of candidates and campaign decisions. State or Regional election fund raising is the responsibility of the relevant State or Regional Party Division.
  4. Each State or Regional Party Division can call for candidates in every seat and has the power to decide the candidate. The exception to this is:
    1. Where a Party branch has formed and the relevant Executive Council has delegated certain responsibilities to the local party branches.
    2. In such cases when more than one Regional Division exists in a State and candidates for either Federal or State upper house elections need to be selected, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) shall form a sub-committee comprised of the FEC Representatives from those Regional Divisions, and an equal number of other FEC members to select the mix of candidates and their position on the ticket, that best serves the interests of the party.

 

Local Party Branches

  1. When 10 or more “Local” members meet together over email or in person, they may apply to the relevant State or Regional Executive Council (or in the event that no State or Regional Division has formed) the Federal Executive Council to form a “Local” Party Branch.
  2. The relevant State or Regional Executive Council shall decide the “area” the Local Party Branch will make decisions for. Meanwhile the Local Party Branch shall decide:
    1. A name for the Branch; and,
    2. Local Branch Executive (Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer)
    3. The Branch may then, subject to the approval of the relevant State or Regional Executive Council, take responsibility for Candidate selection for their local electorates and fund raising and publicity events, etc.
    4. The Branch must be formed within one week after the calling of an election to be allowed to make the decision about the candidate selection, otherwise the candidate selection process remains with the State or Regional Executive Council.
    5. A selected candidate will be expected to answer to, and work closely with, the Local Branch in all areas of fund raising, coordinating events to speak at, and publicity of the Party’s policy.
    6. A selected candidate will be expected to know the broad outline of the Party’s policies and find local issues where they can make public comments to highlight these policies.
    7. Should a Candidate want to speak publicly on a “New” matter that has arisen quickly, they need only to discuss with the Local Branch Executive first.

 

ARTICLE X

BUDGET

  1. A.      State, Regional and Federal Party Divisional Budgets.

The relevant Executive Council shall appoint one or more persons to submit for approval a budget for the next fiscal year each June for approval by that Executive Council.

  1. B.      Fiscal Year.

The fiscal year for the Party shall run from 1 July through the next June 30.

 

ARTICLE XI

MODIFICATION

  1. A.      Ratification.

The Federal Constitution and amendments shall be binding when approved by a 60% majority vote of the voting party members at a Federal Party email or convention meeting.

  1. B.      Amendments.

The Constitution may be amended by a State or Regional Party Division for that State or Regional Party Division to abide by with a 60% vote of the State or Regional Division members at a State or Regional Division email meeting or convention

  1. C.       Severability.

If any portion of this Constitution is ever declared void, all other portions shall remain binding and effective.

 

ARTICLE XII

CAUCUS AND ELECTED MEMBERS PROCEDURES

Candidate Vacancies

In the event that a Party candidate who is involved in a contest resigns, dies, or becomes incapacitated before the election, the second place candidate shall be designated as the Party candidate.

Upon election to a Parliamentary seat, successful Party candidates will be subject to party procedures later to be decided by the relevant State, Regional or Federal Executive Council or by future by-laws of the Party.

 

ARTICLE XIII

Interpreting the Constitution of the Party

When there is ambiguity in the Constitution, or the Constitution remains silent, the Federal Executive Council shall have the power to determine the rules of the constitution on all matters.

 

ARTICLE XIV

Dispute Resolution process

Disputes (other than policy debate) between members or officers within a Local Branch can be taken by the Branch Chairman to the State or Regional Executive Council.

Within 30 days of notification, the State or Regional Executive Council shall appoint three people from within the party to hear and decide the outcome. An outcome must be made within 30 days of the hearing being finalised.

Similarly, disputes in a State or Regional Executive Council can be taken by the State or Regional President to the Federal Executive Council.

Within 30 days of notification, the Federal Executive Council shall appoint three people from within the party to hear and decide the outcome. An outcome must be made within 30 days of the hearing being finalised.

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